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Banking CEO Outlook 2017 at a glance

Banking CEO Outlook 2017 at a glance

KPMG International’s global survey shows that banking CEOs are confident about growth prospects – and they view innovation as critical to their growth strategy.

Nick Quayle

Partner: Audit

KPMG in the Isle of Man


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Banking CEO Outlook 2017 at a glance - photo of an observatory telescope on an observatory tower

In 2017, KPMG International surveyed 120  banking CEOs worldwide to find out how they plan to grow, what opportunities they see in the market and the steps they have taken to further their competitive advantage. Below is a summary of our survey findings. 

A strong outlook for business growth: 

Banking CEOs are confident about their own businesses’ prospects for growth – particularly over the long term. They are also more bullish than their peers in other sectors such as investment management, technology or telecoms about growth prospects for the next three years. 

  • 83% of banking CEOs are confident overall about the growth prospects for their organisation in 2018;
  • 91% of banking CEOs are confident about the growth prospects for their organisation in the next three years;
  • 91% of CEOs expect top-line growth of up to 5% over the next three years.

Investing for growth and transformation, and thinking long term: 

Banking CEOs’ top investment priorities are improving bottom-line growth, business transformation and increasing productivity and customer engagement. They are seeking sustainability through a focus on trust, values and culture, and balancing long-term and short-term objectives. 

  • 74% place importance on trust, values and culture in order to sustain their long-term future;
  • 72% see a correlation between being a more empathetic organisation and higher earnings;
  • 71% say shareholders and the board place equal importance on long-term and short term performance objectives;
  • 58% are pursuing customer-focused transformation as a route to growth.

Innovation moves up the investment agenda: 

Banking CEOs see innovation as the most critical element of their growth strategy. Reflecting this priority, innovation is moving up the investment agenda. Spending on innovation has increased incrementally by 39% over the last 12 months. And two thirds of banking CEOs are planning to increase investment over the next three years: 

  • 56% place a high priority on innovation in their organisation’s strategy for growth over the next three years;
  • 56% are pursuing innovation-led transformation as a route to growth.

Anticipating and planning for risk: 

According to our banking CEOs, the top industry risks today are emerging technology, cyber security and operational risk. In response to these, CEOs are prioritising the fostering of innovation and the implementation of disruptive technology, as well as client-related initiatives (speed to market, marketing and branding and a stronger client focus). 

The top strategic priorities for 2018-2020 include: 

  • Fostering innovation;
  • Greater speed to market;
  • Stronger marketing, branding and communications; 
  • Implementing disruptive technology; 
  • Stronger client focus.


© 2020 KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

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